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Professional NFL athletes had significantly higher rates of injury during the 2020-2021 season than the previous year. The increase is likely due to the lack of full training and preseason play because of COVID-19.
This situation highlights the importance of injury prevention. If it’s important for professionals, it’s just as important for you! Proper preparation is one way you can stay active and avoid injuries.
Keep reading for 6 great tips to prevent muscle injuries while working out or playing sports.
1. Warm Up and Cool Down
Warming up before you start physical activity is one of the main ways to avoid muscle injuries. Research shows that heated muscles are less likely to suffer strains. Walking, light jogging, or riding a stationary bike are some good ways to warm up.
Cooling down after your workout is also important. Gradually slowing down the intensity of your activity can help decrease muscle soreness.
Stretching can be beneficial in preventing injuries. However, be sure to stretch when your muscles are warm. Hold the stretch gently for around 20 seconds but not to the point of pain.
2. Set Realistic Goals and Make a Plan
Setting goals can help you stay motivated. Goals need to be realistic, though. Your body needs time to learn a new sport or get to the next level of fitness.
Making a step-by-step plan to achieve your goals gives you a way to move forward safely. When you see that you’re making progress, you’re more likely to stay on track.
3. Take Time to Rest
Rest is critical for injury prevention. Your body needs time to recover. Overuse is a major cause of many types of injuries.
When you make your training plan, be sure to include rest. Listening to your body is also important. If the workout you planned feels like too much on that day, leave it for next time.
You can adjust your plan to avoid muscle injuries and avoid burnout. You’ll stay more motivated and will be more likely to keep moving toward your goals.
4. Choose a Variety of Activities
Choosing a variety of activities helps in preventing injuries. If your body trains the same way all the time, any sudden change can cause an injury. Cross-training helps your muscles react appropriately to any kind of stimulus.
Participating in multiple sports or types of exercise keeps your workouts more interesting. You’ll stay more engaged. You can stay on track more easily and won’t miss workouts due to injury.
5. Use Good Technique
Using the right technique is key for injury prevention. Proper form is important when working out, training, and playing sports. You’ll get better results from your workouts while avoiding injuries.
6. Take Advantage of Professional Advice
A healthcare professional can help you design a healthy and realistic plan to meet your goals. You can also benefit from working with a certified personal trainer. A muscle pain doctor can help you overcome old, lingering injuries that might be holding you back.
With qualified advice, you’ll be well on your way to your ideal healthy body.
Be More Active With Good Injury Prevention
Injury prevention starts with the basics, like warming up and making a realistic plan. Getting advice from a healthcare professional or an athletic trainer can help you find the activities that fit your lifestyle and your fitness goals. A pain management doctor can help you stay on track even if old injuries flare up.
Following these simple tips can help you stay more active, meet your health goals, and avoid injuries. Check out our other Health and Fitness articles for more great ways to boost your healthy lifestyle.